Seattle style in an NYC Apartment?
October 10, 2008 11:38 PM   Subscribe

Help my NYC apartment feel more like a Seattle home.

I'm still in the process of furnishing my apartment - a year after moving in. I don't have a whole lot of time to spend, and I've realized after many attempts at decorating that I like a natural/outdoorsy/relaxed feel, but not particularly rustic and not at all "country." Naturally, I'm from the Pacific Northwest. I feel in tune with homes along the lines of the ones pictured here. But, I left the Seattle area well before furnishing a home was remotely a consideration, and have no idea where to look for ideas on how to make a space that I can feel connected with (other than the magazine I linked to, which I just found via random google searching). I'm living in Brooklyn and have trees outside all of my windows, which helps, but I still miss the misty days, miss the theme of oversized (by comparison) windows and nature-grounded art, and miss the constant nice smell of greenery and fresh rain that I enjoyed growing up.

I'd like any resources on home decor or design that will help give my NYC apartment the natural feel of a home in the San Juans, or, failing that, the East Side :). Any tips for magazines, websites, or promising stores in NYC or non-time-intensive projects I could do would be fantastic. I'd also love any recommendations for indoor plants that are easy maintenance and would give off a pleasant evergreen smell, or otherwise help make the apartment smell earthy/plantlike (not like flowers or cooking herbs).
posted by lorrer to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Indoor fountains are good for getting that fresh air smell. You really can't go wrong with spider ivy, stuff grows like mad. Not much on the smell front though.
posted by emptyinside at 12:08 AM on October 11, 2008

Visit the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and speak to them about the plant angle. They not only have the plants, they have tons of resources to help you design an indoor garden, and also to help you choose which plant would be best for your light levels, temperature, lifestyle and habits (i.e., if you leave town for a week at a time they'll steer you to something easy-care), etc.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:31 AM on October 11, 2008

I'd just like to point out that those are photos of homes, not apartments. Unless you are very wealthy, I'm guessing your NYC apartment has considerably less space in it. You're going to want to look at ways to increase the perceived space of each room. I don't know exactly how to do that but there are probably plenty of articles on how to make a room look bigger.

Depending on your budget, and how long you plan living in your apartment, you could look into removable flooring I guess...there are bamboo and similar light wood floors that basically snap together to install, and you can get them at IKEA or similar. Barring that, maybe getting bamboo screens of some kind...a recurrent theme of these photos is large expanses of clean wood.

For the evergreen scent, an essential oil lamp would certainly do the trick. You could mix it with other oils for an earthier smell. If you go to one of the boutiques that focus on that they could probably help make you a mixed scent. This will be a lot faster, cheaper, and easier than using plants for the same result smell-wise.

I've heard that spider plants are actually good for cleaning out the air. Supposedly they are perfect for bathrooms. I think hanging a few of them around your apartment might be a good option; they have a more "woodsy" appearance than many houseplants and offer the advantage of being crazy easy to take care of.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:32 AM on October 11, 2008

Over on, this woman bumped up the light to her apt by cleverly putting mirror along the inside recessed walls of the modern windows. Our windows are in normal wood frames, but I'm still thinking about doing it. If you've got trees outside the windows, all the better.
posted by eve harrington at 8:46 AM on October 11, 2008

Cedar in closets?
posted by trig at 9:42 AM on October 11, 2008

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